11. November 2005 · Comments Off on Timmer’s Veteran’s Day Post · Categories: Veteran's Affairs

Whenever Veteran’s Day rolls around I think of this passage from Shakespeare’s Henry V:

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Years from now when my son is older and he asks what my response was to 9/11 I can breathe easy and simply tell him, “I didn’t retire as soon as I could have.”

Not much to some of you I’m sure, but it’s what I’ve got. I’m not and have never been hard core. It’s funny because people look at me sometimes or they find out I’m from Chicago and they assume that I’m tougher than I am, or meaner than I am, or…whatever and I’ve never thought of myself that way. When I was a kid I used to think that I had to try and be that way simply because I WAS from my school, or my neighborhood, or, after I joined the service, some of the small town folks simply assumed I was tough and mean because I was from “the city.”

But I’m like a lot of folks in uniform. I’m simply here and I’m doing my job. And some of the guys and gals that are deployed are the same way, just doing their jobs, not meaning to be heroic or hard core but finding that they are simply because they have the ability to continue to do their jobs when the shit hits the fan. I never would have considered my niece “hard core” until she survived an IED attack and then simply started to treat the people around her. I never would have considered an old friend from Germany hard core until I found out from his wife that he’d been shot six times and yet continued to shoot back at the fuckers shooting at “his” soldiers.

And where I’m going with this is simple. If you’re complaining about the state of the nation and you’re not contributing in some way to better it, please simply shut up. I can’t hear you. I don’t care if you simply try to treat people better in your day to day life. Contribute something positive else I find you a gentleman in England, now a-bed.

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